New and innovative ways to better use the iPad in teaching!
Which iPad do you use currently?
I have an iPad 4th gen 32 gb wifi and an iPad 2 16 Wifi. My wife has an iPad mini 16 gb.
Which application do you blog from?
For the longest time I was blogging solely from my iPad using Blogsy. I have since purchased a MacBook Pro and am doing most of my blogs directly from the WordPress Dashboard. I still rely on Blogsy to add photos (it is very easy to add photos from Camera Roll and Photostream). Recently, I have been starting a lot of my posts with the Mac app Pixelpumper.
Where do you read most of your tech articles?
I used to constantly use Zite (iPad and iPhone), but have recently switched over to Prismatic for iPhone. It has a great interface, is optimized for the iPhone 5 screen, and can link to many different articles through your interests. USA Today also has a great iPhone and iPad app with a comprehensive tech section.
Will you ever go back to using a PC?
I still use a PC laptop for work. But at home, we have become a MAC family. Probably safe to say I will not be purchasing PCs any longer.
Which apps do you use on a daily basis?
For work, Dropbox is always being updated and used in conjunction with other apps. Dropbox has become indispensable for me. Like I mentioned in the past, I also use Goodreader a LOT for school, reading PDFs (manuals/music sheets etc.) Tweetbot has become my favorite Twitter client, as it has iCloud integration and also easy navigation through lists and saved searches. I rarely play any games on my devices, but I do have an obsession with Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends.
Why don’t you update all your apps?
On the iPad, I refuse to constantly update my apps because they take up so much space. I will regularly check the updates, but if the descriptions do not relevantly apply to me, I will not update it. Same goes for my iPhone. If there are many new features within an update, I will update.
I’m thinking about buying an iPad. Which model should I get?
With the addition of the iPad mini, the answer to this question becomes more complicated. The answer really depends on what the majority of tasks you will do with your new iPad. If you plan on doing mostly consuming of information (reading/watching videos/emails), then I would venture to say get the iPad mini. If you plan on doing more creation-type tasks, I think the extra couple inches on the iPad (4, shall we say) will be worth it. I would recommend against purchasing an iPad 2 at this point, even though it costs $100 less than the 4.
In terms of storage capacity, I recommend getting the largest one that you can afford. 16 gbs will be fine for you if all you do is surf the web, watch YouTube, and have just a few hundred songs to listen to. But if you’re like me, and enjoy having a large selection of apps to play with, get the 32 or even the 64. You will not regret it. Apps such as iMovie, Pages, iPhoto take up A LOT of space on your iPad. It does get quite stressful when you are running out of space, but still need the space for additional photos, videos, music and apps. I experienced this when I had a 16gb iPhone 4S.
What are your thoughts about getting extended warranties for iPads?
If you can afford it, get AppleCare+ (emphasis on the +). It will give you two “accidents” within two years where they will replace your device for $50 each time. You will get a brand new (not refurbished) device. They will only replace the device (not the boxing, charging cables etc.)
AppleCare+ costs $100 and must be purchased within 30 days of the original device purchase, and can be purchased at the Apple Store. I would avoid getting the BestBuy or other store “extended warranties.
If you have a 32 or 64 gb device, Applecare is a must.
You talk a lot about mirroring your iPad. What is mirroring?
Mirroring your iPad/iPhone and even the latest 5th generation iPod touch means showing on a second screen everything that is shown. Once set up, your device that you control will be displayed. It is a very useful way to display your iPad to a large group of students/colleagues. Show your presentations, videos, and even games without a hitch.
The easiest way to mirror is to attach your iPad directly to your computer. This is the “fastest” and most solid way, and does not present any lag whatsoever. A wired connection is actually what I currently rely on, since I teach in over seven different classrooms at any given time of year. (Read my post here if you wish to learn how to set up a wired projection of your iPad.)
However, if you teach in your own classroom, and have a strong wifi connection, I would recommend trying a wireless connection. This will give you the freedom to walk around and use different areas of the room, all while still being able to project exactly what you want to project.
Mirroring your iDevice in the classroom gives many advantages. For instance, if your computer is hooked up to a projector, you are able to wirelessly roam around the classroom with your device and anything that appears on it will also appear on the screen.
What about Android?
How many teachers do you know teach with their Android tablets? How many articles are out there with the topic of Androids for education? Enough said.